Edward Lear, Syra, Greece (1856)

Edward Lear, Syra, Greece.
Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil. Inscribed and dated lower left: Syra. Octr 4 1856, further inscribed with the artist’s colour notes301 by 500 mm.

Edward Lear travelled extensively throughout Greece in the 1850s and 1860s and his watercolours are an important visual record of a nation in a state of transition from the period of Ottoman rule to that of the country known today. This large, on-the-spot watercolour, was made on 4th October 1856 and shows the island of Syros in the Aegean Sea. Lear focuses on the town of Ano Syros, with its neo-classical buildings, old mansions, white houses and windmills, that cascade down to the harbour below.


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